How much sleep do you really need?

How much sleep did you get last night?

Many people say they get less than the recommended 7 or 8 hours. But what does that really mean for your health?

"The average adult needs about 7 to 8 hours of sleep," says Dr. Reena Mehra with the Cleveland Clinic.

In reality, most adults get between 5 to 6 hours.

"If you're getting less than 7 to 8 hours of sleep, then you're really affecting your cognitive abilities," Mehra says.

Sleep deprivation can cause memory loss, impair our decision making and our ability to do daily tasks.

Sleep studies also show people who average 6 hours of sleep per night are 27 percent more likely to be overweight.

5 hours of sleep? You're 73 percent more likely to have more in the middle.

"If you're getting a lot less than those 7 to 8 hours, or even a lot more than that 7 to 8 hours, that increases certain health risks," Mehra says.

Those risks include heart disease and high blood pressure.

The National Sleep Foundation says sleep needs are individual and you might be someone who functions better than others on less sleep.

But that doesn't necessarily mean you should make it a habit.


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